Moalboal, Cebu: A Diver’s Haven

Moalboal South Cebu Panagsama Beach sunset

The vast bodies of water surrounding the Philippine archipelago flourishes with an abundant marine life. Cebu, alone, is blessed with a number of diving destinations visited by underwater enthusiasts from all over the world. Moalboal, a town situated on the south-western part of Cebu island, not only happens to be one of country’s best, but also a world class diver’s destination.

backpackers lodge where to stay in moalboal cebuMoalboal Backpacker Lodge’s two-level fan room is equipped with private C.R., a hammock, a water heater for free coffee, cabinet, mini-dining area – everything for P650.00 only. This is one of my favorite hostels ever.

Moalboal Backpacker Lodge (Basdiot)

Choose from an array of places to stay in Panagsama Beach that will perfectly suit your style and of course, your wallet. Moalboal Backpacker Lodge happens to offer both – it is inspired by a rustic design using native materials which bring out the hostel’s cozy ambiance and a room for 2 persons costs only P650.00 per night while the dormitory, only P350.00. Moalboal Backpacker Lodge is perfect for budget conscious travelers. Most importantly, coffee is free. Did I mention there’s free wifi?

Panagsama Beach sunset moalboal cebuWatching the sun set from a small patch of sand in Panagsama Beach.

Panagsama Beach (Basdiot)

Internationally-accredited dive centers can be found at Panagsama Beach. These shops provide SCUBA gears and equipment, and boat to the Moalboal’s numerous dive sites. Pescador Island is frequented by more advanced divers to see some black and white tip sharks, schools of tens of thousands of sardines, and more. Beginners don’t need to stray far from Panagsama Beach to see coral reefs teeming with a diverse aquatic species just a few meters off shore (which is also the cheaper alternative). When all the diving is done, check out the bars, cafes, and restaurants within the area.

Bas Dako Beach Moalboal CebuBas Dako, also known as “White Beach”, in Saavedra.

Bas Dako (Saavedra)

While only small patches of beach can be found in Panagsama Beach of Basdiot (“bas diot” translates to “small beach or sand” in Bisaya), Saavedra offers a 2-kilometer long white-sanded beach called Bas Dako, meaning big beach or sand. Bas Dako, also known as “White Beach“, is perfect for travelers who prefer to laze around the beach, though A snorkel and mask could also be quite handy since there’s a reef swimmers could explore only 30 meters off shore.

Basdako Moalboal Cebu beach white sandA man paddles into the clear water of white beach.

During our stay in Moalboal, we met this American dive instructor who has seen and witnessed the spectacular universe beneath the seas here and abroad, and guess what – Moalboal‘s dive destinations ranks among one of his favorites. His enthusiastic way of how beautiful the marine world was, how magnificent the millions of species were – the way he described it makes you want to hop on a boat, and jump to open water, swim with sharks and sea turtles. I haven’t tried SCUBA diving before because of the high cost but now I’m really looking forward to go in deep.


1. Directions to Moalboal: From South Bus Terminal, take a Ceres Bus bound for BATO VIA BARILI which passes by the Moalboal town proper (Note, this is important: Don’t take the bus bound for BATO via OSLOB because that bus will pass by on the eastern side. Badian is on the west). Travel time is approximately 2.5 hours.

2. Hire a habal-habal to take you to either Panagsama or Basdaku. Fare cost P100.00 maybe even less.

3. Moalboal Backpacker Lodge also has different types of dormitories which costs from P250.00 – P275.00 only. The rooms were also cheap and very cozy. Free wifi and coffee, what more could you ask for? To learn more about their rates, check their website. There are probably more cheaper options to choose from but I strongly recommend this one. Very reasonable price. Moalboal Backpacker Lodge is located at Panagsama Beach, Basdiot. Contact information – 0917 751 89 02 or 0998 250 41 88

4. There are also cottages and resorts in Basdako but you might find it a bit overpriced. Eateries can also be found in Basdaku.

5. Bringing a snorkeling gear could save you some money.

6. More destinations in Biyaheng Cebu

7. This is my 5th post in the Southern Cebu Sojourn series.

8. Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook.

9. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter

10. Enjoy and have a safe trip.

Moalboal Cebu


12 thoughts on “Moalboal, Cebu: A Diver’s Haven

  1. Pingback: Nine Things To Do in South Cebu | Biyaherong Barat

    • Moalboal and Dalaguete are on opposite sides of Cebu Island. I’m not sure if there’s a bus, but I think you could rent a habal-habal, or if you like, you can hike it since there is a traverse from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls. But it’s a long walk that’s for sure.

      You could take a bus from Dalaguete town proper, down to the town of Bato, and then ride a bus to Cebu City via Barili, it will pass by Moalboal.

  2. Hi! Pwede bang mag ask ng help kung anong mas magandang unahing activity, canyoneering or or swimming with whaleshark? 7:30 kasi ng umaga ang dating namin sa mactan at nalilito ako kung magcity tour muna kami bago pumunta sa south para sa mga activities. Pls help. Salamat!

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